Some issues turn out to be so dangerous that it changes our overall way of living. As per the government orders, people are shut in their homes during the lockdown to break the chain of COVID-19 spread. Due to this, people’s life has been affected in many ways and lurching economy. The majority of the countries are going through this lockdown for more than 3 months now and still, they are experiencing great difficulty in adjusting with it, as coronavirus outbreak has snatched away from their freedom, which is considered the biggest asset in a human’s life.
Iceland, ‘the land of fire and ice’ also went under lockdown but not as same as the other countries. Iceland took a very different approach. Unlike other countries, Iceland did not announce a complete social and economic lockdown. They took the approach of massive testing and tracing where people with no symptoms were also tested. This helped in quickly quarantining those who tested positive for coronavirus for 14 days and allowing the rest of the population to move outside of their homes while following the social distancing rules.
Iceland, being the popular tourist spot is famous for several beautiful attractions such as geysers, hot springs, beaches, mountains, valleys, volcanoes, waterfalls, glaciers, and much more. Iceland is highly dependent on its tourism. However, there is a sudden fall in Iceland’s tourism just after the news coronavirus outbreak came in. Till February 2020, the average tourism rate of Iceland stood at 1,33,001, while during the months of March-April, it dropped to 79,873, which made quite a difference in just a time.
Iceland during lockdown:
With a total Icelandic population of 3, 36, 130 people as of March 31, 2020, Iceland reported a total confirmed case of 1,799 people, 10 deaths, while recovered cases stood at 1, 750, as of February 2020. Moreover, Iceland news showed that people are were facing the infection rate of 1 case per 204 inhabitants, which led to the northern village of Hvammsatngi going into isolation. Instead of isolating the total population if Iceland, they performed massive testing and tracing. Rigorous testing helped the Icelandic government to track people who are infected and directly isolating them for 14 days.
This test-and-trace method in Iceland helped them to tackle this global pandemic more quickly and easily. Every person in Iceland went under testing even if they didn’t show any symptoms of coronavirus so that they do not miss out any infected person. Along with this rigorous testing, the Icelandic authorities came up with the phone tracking app, which helped them in tracking the potential interactors. Moreover, the contact tracing team of Iceland made phone calls to those who were suspected of coming in contact with any COVID-19 infected person. This unusual approach of tackling the pandemic made Icelanders continue their life with ease without going under a complete lockdown. Moreover, it helped them to recover from this issue a bit quickly, with witnessing 106 cases per day to now single digits, even zero on some days. Only those who were tested positive for COVID-19 were isolated along with their close acquaintances, the rest of the citizens continued a pretty normal life.
Moreover, Iceland tourists during COVID-19 did not go into quarantine, those who showed no symptoms of COVID-19 were allowed to roam without any restrictions. With the arrival of spring in Iceland, it came with isolating only some of the villagers in Iceland, this helped to avoid other people from being forced into their homes.
According to Iceland news, a very limited amount of restrictions were put on the citizens by allowing a total of only 20 people to gather at a time while adhering to the social distancing guidelines of maintaining a six feet gap from each other. Several offices and places such as hair salons, night clubs, pools, gyms, art galleries, churches, doctors and, dentist’s offices were closed during a hard time of March and April.
As per the Iceland news, now, the citizens, as well as Iceland tourists during COVID-19, are allowed to gather in public places, while following social distancing. Post-May, 6, 2020, the Icelandic authorities started to slowly remove the restrictions by allowing up to 50 people to gather at a time instead of 20, as it was earlier. Universities and high schools are also ready to open in Iceland with permitting only 50 people at a time while following the two-meter distancing measures. In addition to this, several stores and places in Iceland such as hair salons, museums, physical therapy clinics, pharmacies, grocery stores, and massage parlors are ready to be opened with the same social distancing rules. Iceland is now gradually removing the lockdown.
Other activities are also ready to start again for the citizens and Iceland tourists during COVID-19. People will be allowed to take part in outside sports activities but with several restrictions imposed on such as four individuals to be allowed to play at a time while maintaining social distance and limited sharing of sports equipment, which should be cleaned after every use. However, some facilities such as the gym, swimming pools, nightclubs, bars, and similar establishments will remain closed for the time being.
According to the Iceland news, there are no special screenings at the Iceland airport right now and people are free to travel to Iceland, but the Icelandic authorities have highlighted the concern by stating that if the tourists travelling to Iceland or Iceland tourists during COVID-19 who have travelled from high-risk countries such as China, Iran, Italy, South-Korea experiences illness or any symptoms connected to coronaviruses such as cold, cough, fever, and headache should directly contact on the health line number 1700(+3545444113). This number only applies to those who call from the non-Icelandic number.
Iceland news clearly shows that Iceland tourists during COVID-19 did not need to go into quarantine. This only applies to those who have returned from virus hotspots and experiences any kind of illness and symptoms of coronavirus.
This is how life is going on in Iceland. Steps taken by the government are turning out in everyone’s favor. People are under some restrictions but they can do their basic activities. We hope the world overcomes this situation and everything would become normal as soon.
We know will get through this very soon and people will again travel and have fun.
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